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Saluting our POYs (and other news)

Adam and Heather in DC

Adam Mokelke, 2014 Alaska High School Principal of the Year; and Heather Stewart, 2014 Alaska Middle School Principal of the Year (photo taken at Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office in Washington, DC).

I’d like to take a few minutes to salute our Alaska Principals of the Year!

Adam is the principal of Burchell High School in Wasilla. He also served as our AASSP board president and now serves as our past-president. According to an article that ran in the September 2014 NASSP NewsLeader, “Mokelke has led the alternative Burchell High School to raise student achievement, reduce suspensions, and recover drop-outs. As a result, enrollment has nearly doubled in one year for a population that might have otherwise given up on their education.” Adam is also one of six finalists for the NASSP 2015 National Principal of the Year. Congratulations Adam!

Heather is the principal of Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Heather has been an administrator for nine years, the past six at Ryan Middle School. According to the school’s website, “Ryan Middle School is a showcase of diversity with a highly dedicated staff that puts students first. Our goal is to provide a rich educational experience for all of our students. We believe that our diversity makes us stronger. Ryan is located in the heart of Fairbanks and is the most culturally diverse middle school in the area.” Heather was also recognized as the AASSP 2013 Region VI Principal of the Year. Congratulations Heather!

Adam and Heather were both recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals at a banquet held last month in Washington, DC. While there they had a chance to visit the offices of Alaska’s elected representatives (see photo above).

Adam, Heather and Casey Hull (our assistant principal of the year) will be recognized, along with all our regional POYs, at our conference in October.

Many of our POYs are serving, or have served, as members of our AASSP Board of Directors. Our association is always looking out for high performing members to serve on our board. We currently have vacancies for regional directors in the following regions: Region III, Region IV, Region V, Region VI, and Region VIII; and the Assistant Principal at Large position.

If you are interested in running for any of these positions, please respond to aassp@alaskaprincial.org by October 15, 2014 to have your name submitted to the nominating committee. The election will be held on October 21 during our general business meeting.

Our 2014 fall principal’s conference, “Telling Our Story,” will be held Oct. 19 – 21 at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. We will be “Telling Our Story” through courageous communication, inspirational leadership and sizzling social media.

Please plan on attending our annual President’s Reception, Sunday, Oct. 19, at La Cabana Mexican Restaurant. Doors open at 5:30 with the buffet opening at 6:00. The festive evening will feature both silent and live auctions to support the Larry Graham Aspiring Principals Scholarships. Scholarship applications are now being accepted. We look forward to seeing you there.

That’s all for now! Thanks for everything you do to make Alaska’s schools so successful!

All the best,